Waikato features in Architecture Awards


Hamilton buildings are among the winners in New Zealand’s premier architectural design competition. The winners in the 2017 New Zealand Architecture Awards have been announced at an awards dinner at Auckland’s Viaduct Events Centre.

South Bloc in Hamilton by Edwards White Architects, was one of only two nationally that received a Heritage Award.

The Angelsea St building “from the Ministry of Works’ 1960s heyday” that has been “liberated of later accretions and awkward re-workings to reveal the original design and acknowledge the integrity of the original materials”, the jury said.

Another Hamilton build received a Small Project Architecture Award. MOAA Architects’ St John’s Church in Grey St, Hamilton, an extension of an existing church, is “an elegant, beautifully proportioned little building”, the jury said. “It offers its users a calm, protective environment encouraging of contemplation but also sympathetic to more active occupation.”

St John’s church, MOAA Architects.

Cambridge architect Christopher Beer received a Housing Award for creating “a resolutely urban-looking house” in the CBD of his provincial town. The planning of Beer’s Town House integrates several courtyards, public and private family areas, an artist’s studio and a hole-in-the-wall coffee kiosk.

A university building in Hamilton also impressed the jury and received an Education award. The New Law & Management Building, University of Waikato by Opus Architecture is carved into a sloping site, linked by a green roof and organised around a central, sunken courtyard.

“The building provides the tertiary institute with a strong urban presence,” the jury said. “Its solidity conveys permanence and seriousness, while the control of light and movement, and the provision of green breathing spaces and natural ventilation demonstrates an understanding of and sympathy for user wellbeing.”

The New Zealand Architecture Awards, a programme run by the New Zealand Institute of Architects with the support of Resene, recognises the best work across all the types of projects designed by New Zealand’s architects.

South Bloc, Edwards White Architects.

Fifty-one buildings, in locations spanning the country from the Bay of islands to Queenstown, were shortlisted in the 2017 New Zealand Architecture Awards, and visited by a jury led by Arrowtown architect Louise Wright and also comprising Auckland architects Lance Herbst and Jack McKinney, and Brisbane-based architect Kerry Clare.

“I think New Zealanders have increasingly high expectations of the buildings in which they live, work and study, and the cities they inhabit, and rightly so. The quality of the built environment makes a real difference to people’s lives, and it is up to architects, and everyone in the building industry, to make the most of every construction opportunity.”

“The projects which have won New Zealand Architecture Awards are various, but they have one thing in common. Whether they are houses or offices or schools or churches, they are all making a real difference to the lives of the people who use them.”

The Awards jury evaluated a large range of building types sited in very different contexts and serving a variety of functions.

“Award categories blurred as complex briefs merged projects from one category to another,” jury convenor Louise Wright said. “For example, one award-winning house is also a workplace and a gallery, complete with a coffee kiosk.


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